Vadai with Sambal

I have been enjoying writing on my other blog, Perspectives Quilt, this month reminiscing about past travels. I have also just opened up a Pinterest and Instagram account, both of which I had been avoiding not only because I was busy but also because I am not a good photographer. However, since opening both accounts last week, I have found that I pay a little more attention to whatever photos I do take. I know I haven’t been doing justice, with my photos, to the delicious food that my mother has made though I have been diligently recording and sharing her recipes through this blog. I have resolved to try and work on my food photography skills a little, where possible.

So, when my mother made some vadai for tea this evening, I decided that it would be a good time to start experimenting with natural light and angles. Nothing major. Just a series of photos turning my little bowl, with my teatime snack, around. This is the photo I ended up satisfied with, after dozens of photos, which I then applied an instagram filter on.

Vadai 01.JPG

Vadai with Sambal

What do you think? Does this photo make you want to have some vadai now?

Well, whether it makes you want to try some right now or not, please do try out my mother’s famous (among family and friends) recipe for homemade vadai with sambal. They are delicious and lovely to share at Iftar parties as well!

I am bringing this over to Fiesta Friday #124, initiated by Angie and co-hosted this week by Lindy@Love in the Kitchen and Liz@Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

Vadai with Sambal

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: advanced
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Urad dal/ black gram – 1 cup, skin removed
  • Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – 1, medium sized and chopped
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Low fat oil (sunflower or canola) – ½ litre (for deep frying) + 1 tsp (for sauté)
  • Salt, to taste

Sambal:

  • Freshly scraped coconut – ½ cup
  • Red or Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – ¼, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ “ (optional)
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  1. Soak the black gram, without the skin, for 3 – 4 hours.
  2. Grind the soaked black gram, adding a little water, to prepare the thick vadai batter.
  3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and lightly sauté the chopped onion, chillies and curry leaves.
  4. Transfer the contents of the pan and the coriander leaves to the batter mix and add salt to taste. If you prefer, you can also add 1 tsp baking powder.
  5. Mix well and keep aside for 5 mins.
  6.  Heat the oil in the pan for deep-frying.
  7. Take a piece of banana leaf or something equivalent, dab some water on the surface and put a spoonful of batter onto the leaf. Shape it into a round or elliptical shape with a hole in the middle, like a mini doughnut.
  8. Transfer to the oil pan, 3 to 4 at a time, and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  9. Mix and grind all ingredients for the sambal and add salt, to taste.
  10. Serve the vadai with sambal and some Sri Lankan tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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Happy Sri Lankan New Year!

இனிய புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்! සුභඅලුත්අවුරුදක්‌ වේවා! Wishing you a prosperous and happy Sri Lankan New year!

(or, more precisely as people these days tend to clarify – a Sri Lankan Buddhist and Hindu New Year)

A key dish made today is either Kiribath or Pongal. Other snacks made at my home are Paruthithurai vadai, Murukku and Seeni ariyatharam.

DSC00757

Paruthithurai Vadai

Murukku

Murukku

Seeni Ariyatharam

Seeni Ariyatharam

I have requested several friends to share the recipe of a dish that they have made for today in their homes and will be able to hopefully share them (particularly that of kavum, kokis etc) soon here.

In the meantime, I invite you to my short story collection “Waves” book promotion on the Amazon Kindle store. The book can be freely downloaded during the ongoing promotion till 15th noon (Sri Lankan time).

 

Soya bean Vadai

Today’s recipe is a snack made from soya beans – a crunchy soya bean vadai.

Soya bean Vadai

Time taken: 15 – 20 mins (using pre-cooked soya beans)

Makes 6 or 7

Soya bean VadaiIngredients:

  • Soya beans – ½ cup, boiled
  • All-purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Crushed chillies – 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig, chopped
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl to prepare the ‘vadai’ dough. Divide the dough into small balls, around 6 or 7. Flatten each slightly.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. When the oil is ready for frying, drop the ‘vadai’ in batches into the heated oil and deep fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.
  3. Serve warm with some Sri Lankan tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Paruthithurai Vadai

Theepawali Nalvaalthukkal! (Theepawali greetings)

For today’s specialty food, I would like to share a delicacy from my birthplace – the “Paruthithurai Vadai”. This vadai is generally prepared in Jaffna during festival seasons. While I have had the privilege of trying out this vadai in different places across Jaffna as well as at the homes of friends and relatives, the best, crunchiest “Paruthithurai/Thattai Vadai” that I have eaten to date has been that made by my mother. So, here’s the recipe for it.

Paruthithurai/ Thattai Vadai

Time taken: 1 ½ hours + 6 hours (soaking time)

Makes 50 – 60

DSC00782Ingredients:

  • Split urad dhal – 1 cup
  • Wheat flour – 1 cup, steamed
  • Wheat flour – 1 cup, regular not steamed
  • Crushed chillies – 1 or 2 tbsp
  • Onion – 1, ground
  • Curry leaves – chopped
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, as required
  • Oil, for deep-frying

Method:

  1. Soak the split urad dhal for around 6 hours. Drain and peel the skin.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the drained and peeled split urad dhal, wheat flour both steamed and regular, crushed chillies, ground onion, chopped curry leaves, fennel seeds, salt, bringing them together using a little water to make the ‘vadai’ dough.
  3. Divide the dough into 50 – 60 balls. Flatten each ball on a flat surface that will not stick. Alternatively, the dough can be rolled out and cut into thin circles using a cutter;
  4. Heat the oil for deep-frying. Do not let the ‘vadai’ dough sit out too long and transfer to the frying pan as soon as the dough has been made and the balls have been flattened into the thin ‘vadai’ shape.
  5. Deep-fry the vadai in batches until they are golden brown.
  6. Transfer the vadai to a tray lined with grease absorbing paper. The vadai can be stored, for many days, in an air-tight jar.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Kadalaiparuppu Vadai

Today’s Navarathri recipe for the third day of the Lakshmi ‘poosai’ is kadalaiparuppu vadai.

Vadai

Time taken: 15 mins + 3 hours (soaking time)

Makes 6

K vadaiIngredients:

  • Chickpea/ kadalaiparuppu – ½ cup, split
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 1, medium, ground or grated
  • Curry leaves – sprig, finely chopped
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Low fat oil, for deep frying

Method:

  1. Soak the de-skinned and split chickpea for about three hours. Drain.
  2. Keep aside 3 tbsp and then coarsely grind the remaining chickpea.
  3. Mix the coarsely ground chickpea and the 3 tbsp chickpea that had been kept aside.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the chickpea mixture and mix well.
  5. Divide the seasoned chickpea mixture into 6 balls.
  6. Heat the oil in a round-bottomed frying pan or wok.
  7. When the oil is ready, drop the chickpea balls into the sizzling oil.
  8. Fry for about two minutes each side, ensuring that each ‘vadai’ is lightly browned on all sides.
  9. Remove the ‘vadai’ from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with grease absorbing paper.
  10. Serve hot.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Prawn vadai

My mother remembers having this prawn snack from her childhood days and even better, the way her mother used to make it.

Prawn Vadai/ Raal Vadai

Time taken: 40 mins + Soaking time – 3 or 4 hours

Makes 10 prawn vadai

Ingredients:

  • Prawns/ Raal – 10
  • Urad dal/ Ulunthu – 1 cup
  • Chillies – 3 or chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Fennel seeds and Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for deep-frying

Method:

  1. Clean the urad dal and let it soak in a bowl of water for 3 – 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. Clean the prawns. Rub some salt over them and boil the prawns in some water for about 10 mins.
  3. Drain the urad dal and grind it together with the chopped chillies and onion till the batter is just right for vadai. Add some fennel seeds and salt, to taste and mix well.
  4. Dab some oil on one of your palms.
  5. Take a small ball of batter and flatten it slightly on your palm.
  6. Place one of the cooked prawns in the middle of the batter and close it up, forming a ball again.
  7. Flatten the ball of batter again, into the shape of a vadai and make a small hole in the middle, like a mini-doughnut.
  8. Deep fry the prawn vadai.
  9. Serve with some hot tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Vadai and Pachai Sambal

Black gram, or urad dhal, plays an important role in the cuisine of the north. It is one of the gram varieties cultivated in the seasons in between paddy cultivation and is a major source of nutrition.

Today, I will share my mother’s recipe for her famous vadais as well as a green gram snack in my next post. Vadai can be breakfast food or a tea-time snack or can be served with lunch or dinner. It is the most common snack under the Tamil cuisine of the country and is quite popular around the country.

Vadai with Sambal

(a) Vadai

Cooking time: 20 – 30 mins + 4 hrs (fermenting time)

Makes 10 vadai

Vadai

Ingredients

  • Urad dal/ black gram – 1 cup, skin removed
  • Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – 1, medium sized and chopped
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Low fat oil (sunflower or canola) – ½ litre (for deep frying) + 1 tsp (for sauté)
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Soak the black gram, without the skin, for 3 – 4 hours.
  2. Grind with a little water to thick batter.
  3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and lightly sauté the chopped onion, chillies and curry leaves.
  4. Transfer the contents of the pan and the coriander leaves to the batter mix and add salt to taste. If you prefer, you can also add 1 tsp baking powder.
  5. Mix well and keep aside for 5 mins.
  6.  Heat ½ l oil in the pan.
  7. Take a piece of banana leaf or something equivalent, dab some water on the surface and put a spoonful of batter onto the leaf. Shape it into a round or elliptical shape with a hole in the middle, like a mini doughnut.
  8. Transfer to the oil pan, 3 to 4 at a time, and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  9. Serve with pachai sambal.

 (b) Pachai sambal

Preparation time: 5 – 10 mins

Serves 4

Pachai Sambal

Ingredients:

  • Freshly scraped coconut – ½ cup
  • Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – ¼, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ “ (optional)
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Mix and grind all ingredients and add salt, to taste.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.